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Beginner Freshwater You got questions? This is where to post them.

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Old 12-02-2012, 01:06 PM   #16
weedkiller
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Originally Posted by Betta man View Post
Lol. Bacteria that help cycle your tank need some ammonia. That's the reason. I've actually heard of using urine in the tank instead of buying ammonia, and it makes sense to me.
[visualizes you standing over the tank peeing into it] not a good look from our end pmsl
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #17
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That would be weird, but I have heard it works. The tank will probably smell though. It's worth a try.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:20 PM   #18
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yuck, no way id pee in my tank haha
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Betta man View Post
That would be weird, but I have heard it works. The tank will probably smell though. It's worth a try.
let us know lol
ill stick to my bottle of jeys blast off household ammonia thx
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:41 AM   #20
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Well I did a 90% water change and it dropped the levels down to about 4ppm and after 2 days I finally had some Nitrites show up. So im guessing my ammonia level was to high as it was killing everything in sight.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:08 AM   #21
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now add once a day to get to 4ppm, your nitrates will go off the scale at some point but dont worry, just keep at it with 1 daily dose to 4ppm, the day nitrites hit 0 check your nitrates, if they are off the chart do a 90% change again with dechlorinated water and add ammo again to 4ppm, recheck your amm/nitrites/nitrates next day, if all good add your fish.

[tip]
if nitrates still high chck your tap water, i use 50%/50% ro/tap water mix as my nitrates from the tap is 50+ppm.
dont want to use all ro as all the minerals that are good are taken too so the mix is important
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:53 AM   #22
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just to clarify some of this......lol
i started in this hobby almost 40 years ago...while learning about it i did all kinds of crazy experiments...one was about cycling tanks...i used several different methods to do it..one of them was using urine as the ammonia starter...it worked perfectly...since there were no commercial bacterias available at the time seeding tanks was the best way to cycle...
i agree...using the water from an established tank is pretty much worthless and ineffective...
the beneficial bacteria builds up on hard surfaces...having gravel in the tanks certainly help...and the use of undergravel filters will actually speed up the cycle...
but most of my tanks are bare because they are used for breeding and rearing.most of them also have driftwood and plants.we are constantly moving fish around and cleaning the tanks,filling them and putting fish in them..we really do not cycle tanks as is usually laid out...what we do is pull the fish,wood,plants and filter..lightly wipe down the sides and bottom...drain the tank and refill with fresh tapwater...the filter is rinsed and everything returned to the tank...the tank is then seeded....
for those folks that have only 1 or 2 or so tanks can afford to take the time to play around with ammonia and some other ways to cycle a tank ; but when you have 70 or so tanks full of fish there is no time to play around...wholesalers and shops do not cycle with ammonia....and do not let a tank lay empty for months cycling..
take a wholesaler with 400 tanks...they get orders in 2 or 3 times a week...they need empty tanks for the new stock...once a tank is sold and empty it is drained and refilled...when orders come in they will need about 75-100 empty tanks..bags are floated in the tanks to equalize temps...then nets are placed over 5 gallon buckets and bags are dumped into the net and fish placed into the tank....the water in the bags is full of ammonia...not what you want in the tank....

i do a lot of things that i would not suggest to a beginner...i don't test my water..i don't even own a test kit..but i have experience and knowledge that beginners lack...
i do believe is using fish to cycle a tank ; just not using a whole school of them..lol
for a tank like a 20 gallon i would try to seed with gravel or a filter from an established tank and use a couple of corydoras and 2 or 3 other small fish such as danios or barbs..20% weekly water changes.....usually within 3-5 weeks the tanks will be cycled..
if you can't seed it then it will take a bit longer...i have not ever lost any fish cycling this way....

the hardest thing for the beginner is learning to be patient and not freaking out when things don't look perfect...
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